FOR THE WEEK OF DEC. 10, 2018
Here’s why you'll hear more about 'smart cities' and may live in one now
Find coverage of anything related to city living, services or jobs. Summarize the news or overall topic.
Read about technology and share two facts or quotes.
Now pick a photo from a city anywhere. Tell the state or country.
Technologies that once were science fiction are now reshaping cities. Many so-called "smart cities" already are active as automated systems and interactive technology improve safety, traffic, sanitation, emergency response and other services. Communities use real-time information for energy distribution, trash collection, snow removal, air quality and traffic flow with help from real-time data sent via video, cellular and wireless networks. Advanced applications use what's called artificial intelligence – electronic programs that interpret data, spot patterns and suggest or apply actions. The result is greater efficiency, convenience and quality of life for residents, workers and visitors.
Some places use moisture sensors to activate landscape sprinklers in parks and other public sites only when needed. Others keep neighborhood streetlights off until motion detectors sense a pedestrian. About 90 cities, including New York and Washington, D.C., use a ShotSpotter network of microphones and mapping technology to let police at headquarters instantly recognize and locate gunshots. Video cameras monitored remotely also help police respond to park fights, gas station holdups and vandalism. Other examples include showing which trash containers need emptying and where traffic is snarled, with automated signal adjustments or digital signs suggesting alternate routes.
Citizens engage with smart city ecosystems by using mobile devices, as well as connected cars and homes. Applications include lengthening a green light time for disabled or elderly pedestrians, and getting real-time information on available parking and electric vehicle charging stations. Current bus, train and traffic status reports also can be available via a municipal app.
This movement is driven partly by the fact that 54 percent of people worldwide live in cities – a number that's sure to keep growing. So finding data-driven technological solutions to everyday urban challenges is important, and eventually will help manage driverless buses and delivery vehicles. Over 700 cities presented projects last month year at a three-day Smart City World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Tech executive says: "Smart cities technology will address many urban issues, including environmental issues, health and well-being of citizens, education, traffic and mobility, and tourism." -- Kelsey Davis, Consumer Technology Association in Arlington, Va.
Upcoming event: A one-day Smart Cities Development Conference will be held in Oxford, England on Feb. 6
Company says: "A smart city development race driven by the growing global digital economy is taking place around the world." – Huawei, a Chinese technology leader
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